Islamabad : A Pakistan court has sentenced a Christian to death on blasphemy charges in a video trial in the central city of Lahore, media reported Thursday.
Police registered a case against Younis Masih in September 2005, two days after he allegedly made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed, the Daily Times newspaper said.
Masih was also fined 100,000 rupees (about 1,600 US dollars) in the judgement Wednesday after a trial in which he was only seen via video link, owing to death threats issued by Islamic extremists.
Defence attorney Pervez Chaudhry, who also received similar warnings, said the verdict would be challenged in a higher court.
Human rights groups have strongly criticized Pakistan's blasphemy laws as these have been misused by Islamic fundamentalists to persecute religious minorities.
Ordinary citizens have also publicly accused rivals of blasphemy to settle personal scores.
Generally, death sentences for the crime are commuted to a long period of incarceration.